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Biennialization-as-banalization, promotion, and resistance

Biennialization-as-banalization, promotion, and resistance

(p.96) 3 Biennialization-as-banalization, promotion, and resistance
Above Sea
Jenny Lin
Manchester University Press

Chapter Three investigates the turn of the twenty-first century global expansion of Shanghai’s contemporary art vis-à-vis the first international iteration of China’s premier contemporary art event, the Chinese Communist Party-sponsored 2000 Shanghai. The chapter theorizes biennialization-as-banalization vis-à-vis contemporary exhibition practices and the promotion of contemporary Chinese art. The chapter argues that Shanghai Biennial’s curators’ hopes of harnessing the spirit of Shanghai were ultimately supplanted by a generic brand of global contemporary art that neglected the city’s unique historical features and current concerns. This chapter then examines critical responses to the 2000 Shanghai Biennial and critiques of the global positioning of Shanghai’s contemporary art as seen in Ai Weiwei and Feng Boyi’s counter-exhibition “Fuck Off,” and in two related works by artists Zhou Tiehai and Yang Fudong.

Keywords:   Biennials, Exhibitions, State-Sponsored Art, New Media Art, Intellectual Critique

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